Beware of IRS-Impersonation Phone Scams!

Dec 20, 2014 11:30:57 AM / by Dave Boelman


We have been receiving calls about the latest tax scams that are appearing throughout the country.

An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds. Callers fraudulently claim to be employees of the IRS. These con artists can sound convincing, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and that it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with lawsuits, arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. Often, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

Other scams involve telling victims that they have a refund due in an attempt to trick them into sharing private information.

If their calls aren’t answered, scammers often leave “urgent” callback requests.

Note that the IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, or call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they claim you owe
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to arrest you for lack of payment.

If you believe you have received a fraudulent IRS call, you can report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration here and to the FTC through its online complaint assistant.


Material discussed herein is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only. Because individual situations will vary, the information shared here should be used in conjunction with individual professional advice.

Topics: Tax Services

Written by Dave Boelman